‘The way the Swallows deal was handled was not very pleasing’: Motaung
says the shambolic attempts to fast-track relegated Moroka Swallows’ return to the domestic top-flight have left a sour taste in the mouth.
The Kaizer Chiefs owner — who is also the chairman the Premier Soccer League (PSL) finance committee and a member of the league’s executive committee — said on Thursday they were not impressed after attempts to engineer Swallows’ quick return to the top-flight failed .
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was the leader of a consortium of unknown investors who tried to make the deal happen through the purchase of the premiership status of Free State Stars in a agreement worth north of R55m.
‘‘I can only say as far as the league is concerned‚ obviously we are disappointed in the manner in which the whole transaction‚ you know‚ panned out‚” he Motaung.
‘‘But as the (PSL) chairman (Irvin Khoza) has already said‚ we have to put some measures in place to ensure that we do not experience such a thing in future.
‘‘Hence some of the proposals that have been put forward (to prevent a repeat). But it is still a work in progress and we have to sit down and see how we can actually close the loopholes.”
Khoza confirmed on Thursday that the Gauteng MEC had officially withdrawn the offer to purchase Stars.
Lesufi sent a letter to the PSL and apologised for the upheaval he caused when he told long-suffering Swallows that the club would return from the dead through Stars.
But Motaung was not about to let Lesufi get off lightly‚ given that the prolonged uncertainty over the deal has already delayed the release of premiership fixtures for the coming season.
‘‘The way the deal was handled was not very pleasing‚” Motaung said.
‘‘There were press releases (issued) before there was even finality. Of course we also know that this has caused a lot of damage and not only to the fans who had so much expectation‚ but also the players were affected. And I am sure that we (the PSL) will make sure that we do not experience anything of this nature in the future.”
Today’s events were a long way from the days when Lesufi toured the radio circuit and it seemed he was close to completing the unlikely resurrection of Swallows.